Fayetteville's Own Santa Claus Makes Christmas Wishes Come True
Posted December 22, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — There are few things as magical as watching a child's eyes light up when he opens the perfect Christmas gift. A Fayetteville man gets to play Santa to hundreds of children each year.
Moses Mathis is as popular as Santa Claus. The retired mechanic repairs hundreds of bikes each year and gives them all away for Christmas.
"Me and my brother, we were poor," Mathis says. "We couldn't get a bike, and we'd watch other kids on their bikes and say that when we grow up and get rich, we were going to buy every kid in the world a bicycle."
Six-year-old Jamil picked out his first bicycle Saturday. He was happy, and so was his mother, Alexandra Beasley.
"I love it," she says. "It's really nice. They always ask for a bike, and I think, how am I going to get a bike?"
Mathis will give away nearly 700 bicycles this year, but that is not enough for every child who wants one. He is talking to churches in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte about starting this program in their cities.
Many of the bikes Mathis gives away come from the police, who donate stolen bikes they have recovered. Local companies also donate new bikes.